Symβiosis aims to provide resources, commentaries and analysis, on political, social and cultural ideas and developments affecting change and policy, original and creative, based on arguments, able to propose and debate solutions to critical issues, maintaining a broad intellectual scope and global reach that readers need to understand the choices shaping lives, and reflecting on Greece, the Balkans, Europe and the world.




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Europe and the US in the “Asian” 21st Century: The Political, Economic and Security Context

Date added: 07/16/2010
Date modified: 07/16/2010
Filesize: 1.24 MB
Downloads: 705
By Miloš Balabán - CE JISS Volume 4 - Issue 1 - May 2010

While, at the western end of Eurasia, most European states are taking part in a great experiment; broadening and deepening their political, economic and security integration within the EU, at the eastern end of Eurasia, an experiment of no less importance is underway. China, the world's most populous great power (a relatively poor, centrally controlled country) is being transformed – in a historically short time – into a politically and economically powerful, mature and respected global actor. Over the past three decades, from the beginning of economic reforms in 1978, China has gradually risen to become the third strongest economy in the world (as per GDP), and it can be expected that within the next 20 years it will, by the same measurement, become the world's leading economy. However, as in the case of many other countries, China's success also has negative implications. Still, it is clear that whatever happens in a country with an estimated 1.4 billion inhabitants it will decisively impact the future of the international political and physical environment. While some 400 million people have been rescued from the trap of poverty and joined the growing army of the middle class – demonstrating an attractive example of Chinese soft power; one which a number of developing countries look up to – the rapid rise of China greatly strains the country's industrial, agricultural, transportation and welfare infrastructure, and further degrades the natural environment. Moreover, economic change often results in social and ethnic tensions. Still, due to China's centralised political system its development strategy seems to be working and is likely to remain manageable over the long term.

Russia’s Vision of Relations with the European Union

Date added: 07/05/2010
Date modified: 07/06/2010
Filesize: 334.25 kB
Downloads: 559

Jaros?aw ?wiek-Karpowicz

The Russian authorities’ declared willingness to form a “modernization alliance” with the European Union does not signify a change of direction in Russia’s foreign policy. Russia is offering the EU pragmatic cooperation in particular economic sectors. Relations between the EU and Russia can only develop dynamically in the event that Russia changes its standpoint on fundamental issues, such as its approach towards WTO membership or the new document replacing Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

The political constraints on Russia’s economic development

Date added: 06/16/2010
Date modified: 07/06/2010
Filesize: 151.95 kB
Downloads: 607

Katri Pynnöniemi
The Finnish Institute of International Affairs

To understand the political constraints on Russia’s economic development, three dimensions should be explored simultaneously. The relations between Russia and the outside world (where Russia stands in comparison to others, and what it is prepared to do to advance its position), Russia’s relations with its own past (the evolution of the Muscovite matrix1), and the relations between ideas and political action (“the practical value of ideas in solving political dilemmas”2). In this paper I will briefly discuss the first two aspects and then focus more closely on the third.

Replacing the International Monetary Fund

Date added: 05/28/2010
Date modified: 07/06/2010
Filesize: 143.14 kB
Downloads: 597
Simon Johnson,
Peterson Institute for International Economics

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently held its annual meeting in Istanbul on October 6th and 7th. On the surface, the world’s largest gathering of finance ministers and central bank governors should have been a moment of celebration for the IMF – the organization rediscovered its role as lender of last resort to countries in crisis during 2008?09, received an extra $500 billion
from member countries to triple its lending capacity, and in recent weeks has been positioned to manage the much?hyped “peer review” of countries’ monetary, fiscal, and financial policies.
But just beneath the surface, the problems mount. The IMF’s ability to fight and prevent crises has hit a brick wall, because of long?standing resentments regarding the extent to which the U.S. and Western Europe dominate the organization.

When financial markets force too much austerity

Date added: 05/28/2010
Date modified: 07/06/2010
Filesize: 99.62 kB
Downloads: 604
By Paul De Grauwe

This Commentary warns that a self-defeating deflationary dynamics threatens to envelop the whole eurozone, in  which the austerity being imposed by financial markets today makes recovery more difficult, thereby also making it harder to correct government deficits and debts. In the author’s view, this process can only be stopped by  agreeing quickly on mutual financial support. Paul De Grauwe is Professor of Economics at the Faculty of Business Economics at the University of Leuven and Senior Associate Research Fellow at CEPS.